Ecologically and economically sustainable materials for cathode and anode coating in the lithium-ion battery
3 years (01.08.2021 – 31.07.2024)
Funding: 668.113 € (TU BS)
Total Project Volume: 1.565 Mio €
VARTA Microbattery GmbH
ARLANXEO Deutschland GmbH
Hobum Oleochemicals GmbH
Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST)
Schill und Seilacher “Struktol”
AFS Entwicklungs + Vertriebs GmbH
The ÖkoMatBatt project is concerned with the development of ecologically and economically sustainable materials for the lithium-ion battery. The polymeric binders currently used in lithium-ion battery electrodes are commercially purchased, involve the use of environmentally harmful and toxic solvents in electrode production on the cathode side, and bring recycling and thermal runaway safety challenges (formation of hydrogen fluoride due to fluorine-containing binders). Furthermore, polymeric binders are significantly responsible for the viscosity of electrode suspensions, especially in interaction with particulate surface properties (such as modified active materials). Stable and homogeneous suspensions allow significant increases in the solids content and, at the same time, the electrochemical performance of high-energy electrodes. The interactions between active material, binder and solvent are very complex due to the large number of functional groups and always lead to new challenges in the development of electrode materials.
The project objective is to functionalize the materials on the binder side and adapt them to alternative solvents on the cathode side. On the anode side, the surface of the active material is modified to improve bonding and thus reduce energy and material costs, among other things. At the same time, toxic/carcinogenic solvents are substituted and the ecological incentive of bio-based materials increases the acceptance of lithium-ion batteries. The impact of the polymers produced and their functionalization will be continuously documented and evaluated by means of life cycle analysis. In addition to the raw material source, the processing of the individual components, such as active materials, binders and solvents, into sustainable and competitive battery electrodes and cells will also be evaluated. The use of ecologically safe raw materials and the potential use of renewable raw material sources, as well as the modification of materials, aims to replace conventional battery components with equivalent "green" or ecologically sustainable components, thus promoting a resource-conserving approach to the energy issue.